What is Mouth Breathing?

For some people, they tend to have their mouth open a lot.  Some might have them open consciously, or unconsciously. But there is a term for this.  It’s called mouth breathing, and while some might end up feeling the repercussions, both in terms of teeth whitening and other issues, there is more to this than just having your mouth open a lot.

Essentially, mouth breathing is when you have your moth resting in an open position and not keeping it closed all the time.  some might also use this for breathing.  Typically, this is open mouth resting posture.  The natural way to breathe is with a closed mouth, inhaling and exhaling via the nose.  Some are aware of it, and some aren’t until told by a dentist.  Many adult patients are self-conscious about it, so some might not understand why it’s challenging for them to keep their lips together when they eat and speak. 

However, mouth breathing does create a few issues. And they can be of concern.  For example, if your mouth is open, your braces will be longer and much more challenging.  The spaces are more difficult to close, and the stability will be compromised.  You might end up needing braces again because of this.

Speech can also be a problem with this.  With open mouth, it can cause problems with speech sounds, often associated with having a lisp, or the problem with saying the “S” sounds correctly.  Speech is affected because when you have open mouth, you have this swallowing pattern, which causes the tongue to protrude, which is pushed forward during swallowing and speaking.

Facial growth is another major part of this, and it’s a powerful force.  If you have open mouth, you’ll end up having flatter facial features, not as prominent cheek bones, a longer face, eyes that droop, and a lower facial muscle tone.  Some might end up having a small jaw in many cases.  By breathing through your nose, the negative patterns can be prevented in a person.

Finally sleep and oxygen is a major part.  If you breathe through your mouth during the day, you probably breathe through it at night as well. Doing it at night, with an obstructed airway, can cause sleep apnea, and a lowered level of carbon dioxide and oxygen in your bloodstream.  If there is less oxygen there, it can become a problem, such as fatigue all the time, a tiredness, and even brain fog are symptoms of this.  Often, most people don’t realize that until they’re told about this.

There are a few things that you can do in order to prevent mouth breathing in yourself, and for your child.  Sometimes, an adult can catch themselves right away when they’re doing this, and often, even if they’re going in for teeth whitening, they might realize this, but in a child, there are a few things that the parent can do to change this.  The first, it to monitor yourself and your child to see if you’re doing it.  you should see how often it occurs each and every day.  If you have breathing issues, you should consider that and do take that into consideration if you feel like it might end up being a problem.  If you need to, you can also go to a doctor that specializes in breathing and sleep.  you might also have a sleep study done on the child, and even on yourself.  You can do this at home, or in a clinic.  The doctor can determine the best option for you if needed.

Finally, if you need to, you should get an evaluation from a myofunctional therapist.  this is a therapist that will screen their patients for these symptoms.  Not only that, they know other therapists, so you can get the help that you need as well from the doctor.

Having mouth breathing can be a serious concern, and it’s a habit that can cause major problems in life.  If you feel like you have it, or if your child has it, then you should certainly take the time and do see a specialist.  It could end up being important to a child’s health as well.